Bettering agricultural programmes for CUT students
On 02 August 2017, Senwes, and John Deere SA visited the Department of Agriculture at the CUT in order to hand over a new John Deere 5075E Cab tractor purchased by the department. The tractor was bought for the newly purchased CUT farm set up as an Agricultural Training Centre in the Bainsvlei area.
It is located 29KM from Bloemfontein with 32 ha of cultivable lands and 1.5ha of natural pastures. Different cultivations will be done on the farm which will form part of practicals for the agricultural students. Along with research conducted on the farm, practical classes and work-integrated learning will have a high educational and intrinsic value for the students.
The tractor will allow for training of agricultural students, not only to drive the utility tractor but also to operate the vehicle with different implements. Formal tractor operation training sessions will be conducted in collaboration with Senwes and John Deere SA. Students will be exposed to proper maintenance of the machinery and general upkeep.
The farm is surrounded by active commercial farms, which will be beneficial to the department. It will have livestock such as lamb and broiler chicks including an array of organically grown produce such as watermelons, cabbage, pumpkins, dryland maize and sunflowers, and other melons.
Senwes is one of the leading agricultural companies in South Africa, which prides itself on the quality services it provides to its clients who are at the heart of the company. The company is deeply rooted in agriculture and has a rich and proud history which extends over a period of 108 years.
Prof. Carlu van der Westhuizen, Professor: Environmental Health said the training centre and tractor will contribute to teaching, learning and will add immense value to developing practical skills of students. The tractor was purchased at cost price by the university which shows the commitment of Senwes and John Deere SA, and their willingness to partner with CUT in bettering the education programme. Annually, Senwes pledged to make a large tractor that has automated capabilities such as self-driving available for training, at no cost to the University.
A third-year student in agriculture Palesa Suping said she is excited that the department has bought a tractor and a farm. “I am very happy that we finally have our own farm and equipment, we used to do our practical at other farms and I was not free to make mistakes and learn from them while doing my practical, but now I feel relaxed in a safe learning environment.”
1: Sharing a happy moment and handing over the key to CUT students and Professor Fourie, is Mr Dries van Schalkwyk, Marketer from Senwes (second from right) on his left is Prof. Pieter Fourie, Professor: Agriculture and two first-year students in agriculture Tshegofatso Kgoasasa (left) and Palesa Maseko.
2: Department of Agriculture celebrate their new agricultural training centre and progress being made in getting the centre ready for action.
Uploaded: 03 August 2017